Evidence of meeting #32 for Health in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was information.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Arjumand Siddiqi  Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, As an Individual
Kwame McKenzie  Chief Executive Officer, Wellesley Institute
Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Erica Pereira
Kathleen Morris  Vice-President, Research and Analysis, Canadian Institute for Health Information
Scott Jones  Head, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Communications Security Establishment
Jeff Latimer  Director General and Strategic Advisor for Health Data, Statistics Canada
Colleen Merchant  Director General, National Cyber Security, National and Cyber Security Branch, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Marc Lachance  Acting Director General, Diversity and Populations, Statistics Canada
Superintendent Mark Flynn  Director General, Financial Crime and Cybercrime, Federal Policing Criminal Operations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Karen Mihorean  Director General, Social Data Insights, Integration and Innovation, Statistics Canada

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I'm wondering if Mr. Jeneroux would be willing to remove the PMO and the Minister of Health's office from this as well.

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Matt Jeneroux Conservative Edmonton Riverbend, AB

No. Nice try.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Thank you, Mr. Fisher. Was that a motion or just a comment?

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

I will move that we remove them.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

We will discuss Mr. Fisher's amendment, which is to remove the explicit references to the PMO and the Minister of Health's office.

Mr. Jeneroux.

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Matt Jeneroux Conservative Edmonton Riverbend, AB

Obviously, we believe it's important. I don't know what this particular member is trying to hide between these two. I'm trying to do this quickly because I know we want to get to the witness testimony here. It's obviously crucial to hear the advice that was given to the Minister of Health's office and the Prime Minister's Office, because they were making public statements on masks at the beginning.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Thank you, Mr. Jeneroux.

Ms. Jansen.

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Tamara Jansen Conservative Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

It concerns me that we started by being told that to give text messages was too much. Now we're saying that our taking emails is too much. Now we're going to take out the PMO. I find it mind-boggling that everything's too much. Some things are very important. We need to get to the bottom of this.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Thank you, Ms. Jansen.

Mr. Davies.

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I just want to say two things. One is that I support the motions of my colleague to be transparent and to hold the government accountable and to receive information that I think all parliamentarians should be supportive of putting before the health committee, but I am very mindful that we have two excellent witnesses here, who, I think, are giving particularly important testimony today, particularly in light of the global focus on racism in this country.

This is the first time that we've really looked at the impacts of COVID-19 on marginalized populations. I'm just wondering if it wouldn't be better to take these motions.... I, for one, would certainly support holding a separate meeting where we could deal with these motions because I'm concerned that if we continue talking about these motions we will not have a chance to take advantage of this wonderful expertise we have before the panel today and to ask questions.

I wonder if Mr. Jeneroux would consider withdrawing the motions at this point. According to Standing Order 104, if four committee members agree to hold a meeting, then a meeting must be held. I certainly will support that. Then we can deal with these very important matters, but housekeeping matters, in a separate meeting and get to hear from these excellent witnesses here today.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Mr. Jeneroux, please go ahead.

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Matt Jeneroux Conservative Edmonton Riverbend, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Wholeheartedly, I agree with my colleague, Mr. Davies. I obviously want to get through this as quickly as possible. These motions are very straightforward in my opinion. I attempted to streamline them there at the beginning.

I think this is a bit of an overreach from the government, by a particular member, but if we go to a vote right away, I think that we can get through these quite quickly and we can move this along and get back to the important testimony from the witnesses.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Thank you, Mr. Jeneroux.

To the witnesses, I will point out that we are certainly mindful of your testimony and your valuable expertise. However, we do have to take motions when they come.

Dr. Jaczek, please go ahead.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Helena Jaczek Liberal Markham—Stouffville, ON

Thank you, Chair.

Certainly, I do find the testimony that we've heard today extremely important and would certainly like to have my opportunity to question the witnesses as well. However, we are now dealing with this motion.

I was wanting to move yet another potential amendment very much mirroring the wording that we passed a couple of weeks back on a motion proposed by Dr. Kitchen.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Pardon me, Doctor. We do have an amendment on the floor. We have to deal with that before we can entertain further amendments.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Helena Jaczek Liberal Markham—Stouffville, ON

Exactly, so what I'm trying to say is that I definitely feel we need to continue this discussion.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Okay, thank you.

Mr. Kelloway, go ahead.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mike Kelloway Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Thanks, Mr. Chair.

I just want to echo what MP Don Davies said. I absolutely believe we have to have this discussion with respect to the motions on the table and, of course, our response and our suggestions to them.

At the same time, as MP Davies mentioned, this is an important conversation as well, which I think we could look at, whether in a separate meeting or an in camera meeting, and we could address and discuss collegially the motions on the table and at that point be able to provide some feedback into those motions.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Please go ahead, Mr. Desilets.

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desilets Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Chair, I agree with several of my colleagues, including Mr. Davies. This is the second time in two weeks a process like this has happened. I understand that we have to deal with motions, but, in my opinion, we should deal with them separately, outside committee meetings. I feel a little embarrassed dealing with such motions and discussing my differences with my colleagues in front of these experts, who are leaders in their field. I believe that this does not concern them. Even though they are not really inconvenienced by it, I feel that it is not appropriate.

We have two other motions to come and I am afraid that the same process may be repeated. I would like you to take a position on this motion and postpone it. Our rules allow us to deal with the motion in a different time and place. I would actually like us to be able to question these two witnesses, who are bringing us material that is very different from what other guests have provided. It bothers me greatly to miss this opportunity. So I would ask you to postpone the discussions on this motion.

July 7th, 2020 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Thank you, Monsieur Desilets.

It is the member's prerogative to move the motion when he has the floor. As long as that's the case, we have to deal with it as it comes.

Mr. Van Bynen, please go ahead.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Tony Van Bynen Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I also agree with Mr. Kelloway and Don Davies. We have some very valuable expertise in front of us today, and the opportunity may not present itself to be included in the reports that we will be discussing. Although the process and procedure permit the debate now, I think that out of good conscience, in terms of getting a high-value report in front of the people who will be reading it, we are missing an excellent opportunity to hear and benefit from Dr. Siddiqi and Dr. McKenzie. This is something that should not be waived so quickly.

If any members put forward a motion to adjourn the debate so that we can hear these witnesses, I would be happy to support that, as well. To me, this is an excellent and important opportunity on a very significant issue for our country that can really influence the future that we take, not just for this but also for any future issues whereby we're creating pandemics and we need to decide between equity and equality. This is an opportunity that should not be missed, Mr. Chair. I believe this debate should move forward to another meeting.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Thank you, Mr. Van Bynen.

Mr. Davies, please go ahead.

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I don't know, Mr. Chair, if this motion is in order, but I think that I'm detecting majority support. I would move a motion that we table all four of Mr. Jeneroux's motions and schedule a separate meeting in public, because I do believe these should be debated in public, so that we can get back to hearing these witnesses today.

I find it ironic that we have witnesses who are talking about the historic suppression of marginalized groups and not having their voice taken into account in public policy, and here we are in a meeting doing the same thing. I think it's particularly unfortunate and, frankly, worthy of sanction to do so in this meeting. I would move that we table these motions and schedule a separate meeting as early as possible to discuss in public all four of these motions.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ron McKinnon

Thank you, Mr. Davies.